90 Percent of Today’s Home Buyers Searching Online

It is obvious that today’s buyers must search online before buying most things online or in the local store. When it comes to home shopping, do home buyers reply on online search before making their decision?

Recent survey conducted by Google and NAR collaborated to uncover trends and insights around digital media usage among home shoppers, whether they were looking for an existing home, a newly constructed home, or an apartment.

The results are interesting but not surprising. Here are some of the highlights of the survey report:

– 90 percent of home buyers searched online during their home buying process
– Real estate related searches on Google.com grew 253 percent over the past four years.
– Buyers use specific online tools during different phases of the home search process
– How important “local” search terms and websites are for buyers
– How mobile technology cements online to offline home buying — including the reading of online reviews
– How video and YouTube satisfy buyers’ research needs
– The role of age and gender in driving real estate decision making in the market by being the top demographics who searched online and took the next steps offline
– Top states for searches around first-time home buyer tips and specific housing segments like senior housing and foreclosures
– Shoppers will perform an average of 11 searches prior to taking action on a real estate site.
– 69 percent of home shoppers who take action on a real estate brand website begin their research with a local term (eg. Vancouver homes for sale) on a search engine.
– Mobile applications are used by 68 percent of new home shoppers at the onset and throughout their research.
– Where do new home shoppers use their mobile devices? Here’s the breakdown: 77 percent at home, 31 percent at work, 28 percent when waiting in line, 27 percent at restaurant and 26 percent at other peoples’ homes.
– YouTube is the top video research destination for home shoppers.
– 78 percent of new home shoppers visit three or more sites prior to taking action on a real estate site.
– 31 percent of home shoppers who take action on a real estate site are aged 25 to 34.
– 52 percent of first time buyers started their search online.
– 77 percent of first time buyers drove by a home viewed online.

Report detail can be downloaded from here.